Positive Ageing and the Gerontological Nurse

Dr Drew Dwyer1

1School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Queensland

This workshop will focus on underpinning nurses in the fundamentals of the “Ageing Population” aspects and its impact on society, healthcare, the individual and their family.

Nursing in the aged care sector of health has already begun to grow at a rapid rate and this trend will continue to affect the scope and role delineation of nurses over the next 50 years. The specialised field of Gerontological Nursing is already established in other first world healthcare settings, and Australia is not only following this trend, but has the potential to lead the world in positive ageing concepts.

To achieve success and lead changes in this dynamic and evolving healthcare sector, organisations will require the advanced practice skills of nurses and the fundamentals of nursing science to hold the hand of society and guide it through these changes.

This workshop will highlight the gerontological aspects of the nurse’s scope of practice and provide insights to this growing and evolving area of practice, including the rationale of various government mandates and the opportunities for nurses to focus on innovation, research and collaboration.

At the end of the workshop, attendees should understand the importance of setting their own vision, mission and values in order to identify the personal and professional skills they must master in this evolving area of nursing practice.

“Never underestimate the power of nursing until you understand the power of what one nurse can do” Dr Drew Dwyer


Dr Drew Dwyer is known internationally as an inspiring, knowledgeable, passionate and engaging clinical leadership educator and mentor.  He is a consultant gerontologist who completed a PhD (Med) in Evidence-Based Healthcare through the Joanna Briggs Institute at Adelaide University in South Australia.  He also holds a master’s degree in clinical science and undergraduate qualifications in Nursing and Applied Social Sciences (Psychology).

His passion is geriatric nursing and he has spent the last 15 years focussed on improving the care provided to our most vulnerable people by leading and advocating for change in the aged, community and disability care sectors.  He currently sits as the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) representative on the Enrolled Nursing Industry Reference Committee that provides expert guidance to the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) on the future of nursing training in Australia.

Dr Drew serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland.  In this role he uses his extensive career in practical on-the-floor nursing roles to encourage and motivate aspiring nurses to fully understand and embrace their role as clinical leaders. His combination of passion for people, professionalism, service and leadership leave an indelible mark on all of his students.